Tag Archives: Finance (TRBC level 1)

UPDATE 1-Telefonica is in exclusive talks with investors for the Brazilian fiber unit | Instant News


(Write with COO comments)

MADRID, February 25 (Reuters) – Telefonica is in exclusive talks with financial investors about setting up a joint fiber optic venture in Brazil, Chief Operating Officer Angel Vila said Thursday.

The Spanish telecommunications group plans to expand high-speed fiber-optic coverage to more cities in Brazil, following a similar project launched in Germany in partnership with insurance company Allianz.

“Brazil is the size of a continent. Our capital expenditure (capex) will not reach everything, “Vila told Reuters.

After speaking with many potential partners, the company has held exclusive talks with “international operators with a financial and infrastructure profile”, said Vila, declining to name investors.

Talks have progressed, he added, but “in this situation you can never say 100% that you will sign.”

Previously Vila told analysts that the second phase of development could be done through agreements with fiber owners such as the American Tower.

Telefonica is already using the infrastructure of larger US companies in the Brazilian states of Minas Gerais and Vila said they “may be interested in consolidating” the agreement.

Vila said she could not confirm a Bloomberg News report that exclusive talks were held with Canadian pension fund Caisse de depot el placement du Quebec (CDPQ), due to a confidentiality agreement.

“CDPQ is a top class long-term global investor, that would be very attractive,” he added.

American Tower did not immediately respond to a request for comment. CDPQ could not be reached immediately.

Telefonica plans to hold half of the business through Telefonica and its local branch Telefonica Brasil.

Vila told analysts by conference call that it could expand the unit later through acquisitions.

Telefonica cut its dividend after reporting a 10% drop in previous 2020 earnings on Thursday, although it expects business to stabilize this year. (Reporting by Isla Binnie, Eid by Inti Landauro, Kirsten Donovan)

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UPDATE 2-New Zealand’s central bank to consider the impact of monetary policy on housing | Instant News


* Housing is added to RBNZ authority, but not mandate

* The RBNZ needs to explain its impact on housing on a regular basis

* Mortgage debt-to-income and interest-only ratio considered (Adding background, comments from analysts and opposition leaders)

WELLINGTON / SYDNEY, February 25 (Reuters) – The New Zealand government on Thursday tasked the country’s central bank with considering the impact of its monetary and financial policy decisions on housing prices, a move to help calm the country’s fiery property market.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) should consider government policies regarding more sustainable housing prices.

“Today’s announcement is just the first step as the government weighs broader suggestions on how to cool the housing market,” Robertson said in a statement. “We know the rapid improvements we’ve seen in recent months are not sustainable, which means many first-time home buyers have a hard time accessing the market.”

The government’s authority ceases to impose new monetary policy objectives in the RBNZ, the first step in the world that RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr warned late last year when the government first pitched the idea.

Orr argued that adding housing to the bank’s mandate could make monetary policy less effective and affect the efficiency of financial markets, adding that monetary policy alone cannot fix the housing problem.

Orr on Thursday welcomed the addition of remits, which take effect March 1, noting that monetary and financial policy is one of the “many influences on house prices.” He also stressed the monetary policy committee’s targets – maintaining price stability and maximizing sustainable employment – remain unchanged.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden’s government is under pressure to fix the country’s housing crisis, especially after the failure of its flagship public housing program failed. Property prices have skyrocketed in the past six months due to severe housing shortages and low interest rates.

Like many central banks during the coronavirus pandemic, the RBNZ has pushed interest rates to record lows, relaxed mortgage lending restrictions and incorporated NZ $ 100 billion ($ 70.4 billion) into quantitative easing programs.

These measures, while boosting the economy, have sparked an unprecedented housing market boom. In its latest forecast, the RBNZ sees house price inflation rising to 22.4% by the middle of this year, much higher than the November forecast of 7.9% for this year to June.

POLICY REGULATION

The New Zealand dollar touched its highest level since August 2017 following the government’s announcement, as it reinforces the view that monetary policy will be tighter. The ten-year New Zealand government bond yield was 1.82%, the highest since May 2019.

“Paying attention to housing may make the Reserve Bank more inclined towards meeting its inflation and employment targets … that means monetary policy is tighter than expected in the near term,” said Westpac senior economist Michael Gordon.

An immediate impact on the housing market itself is unlikely, said Gordon.

“The thing that is going to lower house prices are higher interest rates,” said Gordon. “It’s still cheaper to borrow now because it’s been going on for decades.”

Under the amendment, the RBNZ will retain autonomy over how its decisions take into account potential housing consequences, but will need to explain regularly how it takes into account the housing market outcomes.

Banks should also consider the government’s goals to support more sustainable housing prices, including by reducing investor demand for existing housing stocks to help increase the affordability of first-home buyers.

The RBNZ said it was investigating government requests for advice on implementation tools such as debt-to-income ratios and interest-specific mortgages. (Reporting by Renju Jose and Praveen Menon; editing by Jonathan Oatis, Rosalba O’Brien and Jane Wardell)

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Commodity rally helped Australian stocks close nearly 1% higher | Instant News


* Higher oil prices due to lower production benefit energy stocks

* Copper prices continue to strengthen due to limited supply

* Tech stocks track Wall Street peers lower (Updates to close)

Feb 23 (Reuters) – Australian stocks closed almost 1% stronger on Tuesday, as stronger commodities boosted market expectations of better growth prospects and lifted miners and energy stocks.

The S & P / ASX 200 index rose 0.9% to 6,839.2 at the close of trading.

Participants also watched for a possible change in the view of the US Federal Reserve from Chairman Jerome Powell in his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee at a later date.

Commodity prices rose as oil prices rose on the prospect of tight global supplies after US production was hit by cold weather and a meeting of leading crude producers is expected to hold back most of the production.

Australia’s energy stockpile rose 4.9% due to stronger oil prices.

Oil and gas explorers Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd were up 5.7% and 5.9%, respectively.

Gold stocks surged 2.8%, with spot gold hitting a one-week high as inflation concerns boosted gold’s appeal as a hedge.

Miners gained 2% on the back of continued increases in copper prices, helped by limited supply and strong demand expectations.

Copper-exposed global miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto, rose 3.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

Leading independent gold miner Newcrest Mining jumped 4.4%, while peer Bellevue Gold gained 5.1%. Finance also rose, with the so-called “Big Four” banks rising in the 1.1% to 1.9% range.

Tech shares followed Wall Street peers lower to fall 4.1%, with buy-now-pay-later Afterpay Ltd tumbling 7.2%, while accounting software maker Xero Ltd lost 2.7%.

SEEK Ltd closed 7.1% lower after the job portal operator said it was in talks to cut its stake in China’s Zhaopin unit by A $ 2.2 billion ($ 1.74 billion).

In New Zealand, the benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index was down 0.3%, pulled down by utilities and health care stocks.

($ 1 = 1.2628 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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Australian stocks traded flat as a tech slump offset commodity gains | Instant News


* Tech stocks observe their worst day in nearly a month

* Energy stock is set for the best day in nearly six weeks

* Mining stocks hit their highest level since January 8

* NZ is set for the fourth consecutive losing session

February 23 (Reuters) – Australian stocks traded little changed on Tuesday as gains in miners and energy companies in stronger commodity prices battled losses in technology stocks following weak hints from US peers.

The S & P / ASX 200 index was almost unchanged at 6,779.5 by 0000 GMT, after swinging between positive and negative territory for most of the early part of the session.

Tech stocks were the biggest drag on the benchmarks, following losses to US peers who were under pressure from rising bond yields and concerns over higher inflation impacting the valuation.

“The continued increase in real income should reflect better growth prospects for equities but if it rises suddenly, driven higher by flows of rapid repositioning, then we think the impact of a higher discount rate will attract equities lower,” said analysts at UBS are in a note.

Buy-now-pay-later giant Afterpay slumped 7.8% causing losses among local tech firms set for their worst session since Jan.28.

Investors will be watching for any changes to the US Federal Reserve’s dovish outlook from Chairman Jerome Powell when he speaks before the Senate Banking Committee at a later date.

Energy stocks rose by up to 4.1% and were on track to post their best session since January 13, lifted by a surge in oil prices as investors anticipated a slow recovery in US crude production following cold weather in the state of Texas. Oil Search rose 8.6% after posting a surprise underlying gain.

Newcrest Mining and AngloGold Ashanti led gains among gold miners, which rose 5.6%, as concerns over rising inflation and a weak US dollar pushed the metal higher.

Stronger gold bullion and copper prices supported a more than 1% gain in the heavyweight miner, which hit the highest level since Jan. 8. Copper prices broke the $ 9,000 mark for the first time since 2011 amid indications of limited supplies.

New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index fell 0.6% to 12,356.68 and is on track for a fourth straight session of decline. (Reporting by Arpit Nayak in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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